Experiencing God: How to Live the Full Adventure of Knowing and Doing the Will of God
Anyone who enters into an intimate relationship with God can see God do exceptional things through his or her life. The outcome does not depend upon a person being unusually gifted, educated, or wealthy. The key is the indwelling presence of God doing unusual things
Anything of spiritual significance that happens in your life will be a result of God's activity in you. He is infinitely more concerned with your life and your relationship with Him than you or I could possibly be.
Baptism, worship attendance, and church involvement are all appropriate, obedient responses to a relationship with God. However, they do not create or replace the relationship.
Biblically, God always gives the assignment first. Then God equips the person by the Holy Spirit to accomplish what He assigns.
circumstances had altered, but God had not.
Even though Moses was an exile in the desert, he was right on God's schedule, in the fullness of God's timing, in the middle of God's will for that moment.
Ezekiel 36:26: I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
God always has a fresh and deeper truth He wants us to learn about Him.
God created you for a love relationship with Him. He yearns for you to love Him and respond to His immeasurable love for you. God's nature is perfect, holy, total love. He will never relate to you in any other way although you may not always understand His actions. There will be times when you do not comprehend why He allows certain things to occur, and that is to be expected. He is the infinite God while we are limited human creatures. He sees the eternal ramifications of everything that happens. We don't.
I recognize that there are times in God's divine will and infinite wisdom that He chooses not to heal or to protect from harm. It was out of my love relationship with God that I was able to trust Him to walk with me through the situation, regardless of how it turned out.
Jesus was the Son of God. Yet He never took the initiative to dream a dream or launch a new ministry. He lived His life in absolute dependence upon His Father. If Jesus was that dependent on the Father, then you and I should realize how ludicrous it is for us to set out on our own without any direction or guidance from the Father.
Many people have grown up attending church and hearing about God all their lives, but they do not have a personal, dynamic, growing relationship with God.
Many people want God to call them to a big assignment. However, they try to bypass the love relationship...the love relationship is why God created you. That is far more important to Him than what you do. So anticipate that God will start working with you and drawing you to an intimate love relationship that is real and personal. When the love relationship is right, God will be free to begin giving you assignments at His initiative. Whenever you do not seem to be receiving assignments from God, focus on the love relationship and stay there until the assignment comes.
Moses had to re-check Gods' directions constantly. He obeyed God, spoke to Pharaoh, and everything went wrong, but Moses didn't quit. He went back to the Lord to clarify what was happening.
Never allow your heart to question God's love. Settle it on the front end of your quest to know Him and experience Him: He loves you. Every dealing He has with you is an expression of His love for you. God would not be God if He expressed Himself in any way other than perfect love! What you believe about God's love for you will be reflected in how you relate to Him. If you really believe God is love, you will also accept that His will is always best.
People don't ask questions about spiritual matters unless God is at work in their lives. When you see someone seeking God or asking questions about Christianity, you are witnessing God at work.
Rather than focusing on what our church is doing for us, we ought to be asking what God is seeking to do in our church through us.
REALITY 4: GOD SPEAKS BY THE HOLY SPIRIT THROUGH THE BIBLE, PRAYER, CIRCUMSTANCES, AND THE CHURCH TO REVEAL HIMSELF, HIS PURPOSES, AND HIS WAYS.
Right now, God is working all around you.
Some would define a servant like this: 'A servant is one who finds out what his master wants him to do, and then he does it.' The human concept of a servant is that a servant goes to the master and says, 'Master, what do you want me to do?' The master tells him, and the servant goes off BY HIMSELF and does it. That is not the biblical concept of a servant of God. Being a servant of God is different from being a servant of a human master. A servant of a human master works FOR his master. God, however, works THROUGH His servants.
Suppose the Lord says, I have a gift for youa beautiful, wonderful expression of what love is. I will provide you with a spouse who will love and cherish you. Your relationship with this person will bring out the best in you. It will give you an opportunity to experience some of the deepest and most meaningful dimensions of human love that are possible. That individual will walk alongside you to encourage, challenge, and strengthen you when you lose heart. Within that relationship, your mate will love you, believe in you, and trust you.
Suppose you were in a war-torn country, and you had to cross a field full of land mines. If a local soldier knew exactly where every one of them was buried and offered to take you through the field, would you protest and say, I don't want you to tell me what to do. I want to be free to make my own choices? I don't know about you, but I would stay as close to that person as I could. I certainly would not go wandering off. His directions to me would not restrict me; they would preserve my life. As we walked together, he would say, Don't go that way, because that path will kill you. Go this way and live.
There are far too many people who settle for practicing a sterile religion rather than enjoying a growing, vibrant, personal relationship with the living God.
There is a world of difference between knowing something to be true in your head and experiencing the reality in your life.
The truth is that God can do anything He pleases through an ordinary person who is fully dedicated to Him.
Trusting in God's Direction When I served as a denominational leader in Vancouver, one of our churches believed God was leading it to begin three new mission churches for different language groups. At that time, the church had only seventeen members. Human reason would have immediately ruled out such a large assignment for a small church. They were hoping to receive financial support from our denomination's Home Mission Board to pay the mission pastors' salaries. One pastor was already in the process of relocating to Vancouver when we unexpectedly received word that the mission board would be unable to fund any new work in our area for the next three years. The church didn't have the funds to do what God had called it to do. When they sought my counsel, I suggested that they first go back to the Lord and clarify what God had said to them. If this was merely something they wanted to do for God, God would not be obligated to provide for them. After they sought the Lord, they returned and said, We still believe God is calling us to start all three new churches. At this point, they had to walk by faith and trust God to provide for what He was clearly leading them to do. A few months later, the church received some surprising news. Six years earlier, I had led a series of meetings in a church in California. An elderly woman had approached me and said she wanted to will part of her estate for use in mission work in our city. The associational office had just received a letter from an attorney in California informing them that they would be receiving a substantial check from that dear woman's estate. The association could now provide the funds needed by the sponsoring church. The amount was sufficient to firmly establish all three churches this faithful congregation had launched. Did God know what He was doing when He told a seventeen-member church to begin three new congregations? Yes. He already knew the funds would not be available from the missions agency, and He was also aware of the generosity of an elderly saint in California. None of these details caught God by surprise. That small church in Vancouver had known in their minds that God could provide. But through this experience they developed a deeper trust in their all knowing God. Whenever God directs you, you will never have to question His will. He knows what He is going to do.
We don't choose what we will do for God; He invites us to join Him where He wants to involve us.
Whatever your present circumstances, my sincere prayer is that this book may help you to do the following: Believe and experience daily God's infinite love for you. Hear when God is speaking to you. Identify God's unmistakable activity in your life. Believe Him to be and to do everything He promises. Adjust your beliefs, character, and behavior to Him and His ways. Identify a direction He is taking in your life, and recognize what He wants to do through you. Know clearly how to respond to what He shows you. Experience God doing through you what only He can do.
Whenever God reveals His nature in a new way, it is always for a purpose. He created you for a love relationship with Him. When He encounters you, He is allowing you to know Him by experience. Encounters with God are always an expression of God's love for you. Jesus said: The one who has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. And the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father. I also will love him and will reveal Myself to him (John 14:21).
When you offer yourself to God as His servant, He first expects to shape you into the instrument of His choosing. He will always work in you before He works through you.